AirAsia is reducing the number of A330neos it has ordered and added in the recently announced A321XLR.
The order will comprise of 12 A330neos and 30 A321XLR which will be for the Malaysian low cost carrier group's long haul subsidiary AirAsia X. According to Airbus, the deal would be worth around USD $5 Billion at catalogue price. It will be an update to an previous decision by the airline to acquire an additional 34 A330neos along with 66 it initially ordered during the 2018 Farnborough Airshow. With the order AirAsia will still be the largest customer of the A330neo program with a total of 78.
AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes spoke on the benefit of the A321XLR to open new routes without trying to the fill the 377-seats on the A330neos. “In addition, the A321XLR offers the longest flying range of any single aisle aircraft and will enable us to introduce services to new destinations,” Fernandes said.
Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury spoke on the combination of the A321XLR and A330neo for AirAsia stating: “AirAsia X has been the pioneer of the long haul low cost model in the Asia-Pacific region. This new order for the A330neo and A321XLR is a true endorsement of the Airbus solution to meet mid-market demand with a combination of single aisle and widebody products. This powerful solution will provide AirAsia X with the lowest possible operating costs to expand its network and enable even more people to fly further than ever before.”
Billed as Airbus’s “long-range” narrow body aircraft, the A321XLR will have a range of 4,700 nautical miles with a fuel burn rate 30% lower than the previous generation competitor aircraft. It was first introduced by Airbus at this past summer's Paris Airshow.